As The Weinstein Company struggles to abolish the R rating for "Bully", more Hollywood heavyweights continue to show their supports by joining the call to lower the rating for the controversial documentary. On Tuesday, March 13, it was announced that the latest notable figures who participate in the effort included Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep and Justin Bieber.
Streep and her daughter Mamie Gummer have agreed to co-host a special screening event for the film in New York City on March 20. Depp has also offered his help to support the movement. On the other hand, Bieber, who once fell victim to anti gay slur, recently tweeted that he'll help the Weinstein Co. in any way that he can.
The three celebrities are joined by fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, who promised to design a T-shirt based on the "Bully" poster. The fashion items will be sold in Hilfiger stores to benefit the movement. New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, was also among the famous names who support the rallying protests.
Also joining the call was AMC Entertainment CEO Gerry Lopez who criticized the rating system from both the MPAA and the National Association of Theatre Owners. "To automatically default 'Bully' is a mistake," he said in a statement. "Automatic default to a rating, a category, a genre... doesn't matter, is a mistake."
"The message, the movie and its social relevance defy that kind of formulaic, conventional thinking," he added. "AMC will show this movie, and we invite our guests to engage in the dialogue its relevant message will inevitably provoke."
Previously, Ellen DeGeneres and Demi Lovato showed their supports for the movement. In Capitol, 20 members of congress have signed a bipartisan petition issued by Michigan high school student Katy Butler to urge the MPAA to overturn "Bully" rating into PG-13.
Regarding the headline grabbing issue, MPAA spokesperson Howard Gantman didn't address the possibility to give the documentary a PG-13 rating. He said Tuesday, "We respect the viewpoints of members of Congress and the public and Hollywood celebrities who care deeply about an issue that is troubling our nation."
"The MPAA shares the goal of shining a light on the problems caused by bullying, and we hope that this new film and the national discussion about it among educators, parents and students will help lead to ways to better ensure that kids feel safe and protected when they come to school," he continued on.
"Bully" follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.
Directed by Lee Hirsch, the much-talked-about film will open in the U.S. theaters on March 30. Despite the protracted rating dispute, both Harvey Weinstein and MPAA Chairman are set to host the Washington D.C. premiere of the movie on Thursday, March 15. They will also serve as the panelists at a post-screening discussion for the film.